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Medina County Investigating Three COVID-19 Cases In Schools

Medina County health officials are investigating three COVID-19 cases reported in two school districts.

Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus since schools reopened, said the county’s health commissioner Krista Wasowski.

The county is seeing its highest number of new cases since the pandemic began, with more than 100 new cases reported over the past week, she said. Nearly one-quarter of the cases are in people under the age of 19.

“We're not seeing it from sports teams," Wasowski said. "What we’re seeing is that it’s that casual gathering and community spread within social groups, not necessarily from a sports team or an extracurricular or from a school setting."

Some kids have had to isolate or quarantine after being exposed to an infected person while playing sports, but contact tracing shows most of the spread is coming from hanging out with friends outside of official school activities, she said.

“We’re asking [students] to keep a little bit of a distance from the groups that they’re in, especially going into school, going into in-school sessions, and trying to keep our sports teams playing and in competition with one another,” Wasowski said.

There is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to determining which student athletes should quarantine after being near confirmed cases in sports, she said.

“If you have a team that has been scrimmaging… you cannot tell who did and didn’t come into that close contact during the course of play,” she said. “That would be a situation where you have more players that were put into quarantine."

But for students who were masked and remained a safe distance away from other players during practice drills or conditioning, health officials would look into whether they came into direct contact with the case and would need to isolate, she said.

So far, only a few K-12 school districts have reopened in Medina County, with most starting after Labor Day, Wasowski said. In the meantime, the health department is developing protocols for responding to positive cases, she said.

College students that live in the area have also tested positive after going back to school, Wasowski added.

County health officials are advising all people to limit group gatherings and maintain social distance when getting together to minimize the community spread the county is seeing.

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